My mouldy house gave me dementia at 37 – I was so confused I forgot my own name and couldn't get dressed | The Sun
A "FIT and healthy" woman developed DEMENTIA in her 30s caused by hidden mould in her flat.
Amie Skilton, from Sydney, even forgot her own name in a terrifying ordeal after having an extreme reaction to damp over the last six years.
Amie, then a "perfectly healthy" 37-year-old, moved into a new apartment with her now-husband in 2016.
In her work as a naturopath and nutritionist she had given 39 keynote speeches in the run up to moving in and had just come back from two conferences in the US.
She had even done a 9km fun run showing how fit and healthy she was.
However, about two months into the new tenancy she started "getting sick, noticeably sick."
Little did the couple know that faulty waterproofing in their shower meant that water was leaking throughout the apartment, causing severe damp.
Nor did they know that Ms Skilton is one of the 25 per cent of people who are genetically more vulnerable to mould, leading to severe allergic reactions.
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What followed was a "systematic breakdown" of her body, including developing terrifying dementia symptoms.
"The first symptom that I noticed were allergies, chronic allergies, and I put on like 10 kilos out of nowhere," says Amie.
Over the next few months her brain functions began to be affected and she was eventually diagnosed with inhalational Alzheimer's.
She said: "Some days I couldn’t figure out how to get dressed. I would look at clothes and I just be really confused as to like how to put them on."
The most terrifying experience came when Amie was unable even to remember her own name.
She added: "I went fill out a form one day and I was staring at the box that said my name and I was like what is it again? I was staring at it, searching for it."
Doctors had no answers as to why she had developed the terrible disease as blood tests came back normal.
Fortunately she was tipped off to the idea of mould-related illness in an online forum and remembered that when she had first moved in, there had been an issue with a leak in the garage below her flat.
Amie called a specialist in who mapped the leak and discovered that it had gone throughout the property under the carpet.
She said: "The carpet looked totally fine on top but when she lifted it there was all this black mould. When we finally stripped back our mattress cover the mattress was green."
She adds that she is furious as the real estate agent that rented them the flat had known about the leak for five months and had been locked in an argument with the owner about who should pay to fix it.
Five years on she is no longer experiencing any symptoms and her brain function has got back to normal.
Amie encouraged people to keep mould-related illness in mind and to contact a building biologist if they suspect to be suffering from it.
Amie's story is a particularly severe problem caused by mould, but other families have been forced to change the way they live due to spreading damp.
Abiodun Adebayo's kids were forced to sleep on the sofa due to extreme mould in her London council flat earlier this year.
One couple in Kent even reported that mould in their home was making their children ill, with some similar symptoms to those Amie had.
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Tile expert Trevor Grindley advises homeowners that bathrooms with underfloor heating can help prevent damp.
If that is unaffordable, he emphasises the importance of proper grouting in bathrooms, using either epoxy grout or an impregnating sealer.
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